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Center Column Archives
On March 4, one hundred and forty-nine public speaker's cards were turned in prior to the Oakland City Council meeting. Public comment was unanimous against a city-wide Domain Awareness Center. Nevertheless, council members passed a resolution at about 1am on March 5 to proceed with a scaled-down Port-only version of the DAC. From the public galleries in council chambers, calls of "shame, shame, shame" rang out after the vote to continue development of the DAC.
On February 26 in East Palo Alto, about 250 people marched through the intersection in front of IKEA. Seven activists risked arrest, locking arms and standing (sometimes sitting) in the middle of a major intersection. Union and immigrant rights activists called out Juvenal Chavez, owner of nearby Mi Pueblo, for betraying his own undocumented immigrant roots by participating in the Department of Homeland Security program E-Verify that screens the immigration status of new hires.
At the UC Regents meeting on July 18 at the UCSF Mission Bay Campus, students and workers protested the appointment of U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napaolitano as the president of the UC education system because of her role in targeting immigrant youth and immigrant workers.
On May Day 2013, the fight for a $15 'Livable Wage' came to Oakland. A rally at Oscar Grant Plaza was followed by a noise demonstration through the streets of Oakland to raise awareness about the campaign. The noise march in Oakland followed a Sin Fronteras march from Fruitvale BART station earlier in the day. Immigrant rights and labor actions took place in many Bay Area and Northern California cities on May Day including San Francisco, San Jose, Salinas, Watsonville, and Santa Cruz.
UPDATE 8/7: Ankah was bonded out of jail just before 6pm. Her friends report that she will still need continued support.
Anna Karewicz, who is known to her friends as Ankah, is a puppeteer, artist, and avid community gardener who lives in Oakland. On Thursday, August 2nd, the group with which she was bicycle touring in Northern California mistakenly rode on the wrong side of the street on a city block in Arcata. The group was stopped by police. The other riders received traffic infraction citations and were allowed to go on their way. Ankah, however, was taken into custody with an ICE hold, and she could be deported at any time. Ankah's friends are requesting that people sign an online petition and contact the Humboldt County Sheriff's department and other officials to demand that she be set free.
The third annual Festival del Nopal took place in downtown Santa Cruz on Sunday July 22. The festival featured many local food vendors using nopal, or prickly pear cactus, in a variety of cuisine such as pupusas, huraches, salad, tlayudas, baked potatoes, fries, and tacos. The event, founded and coordinated by City Councilmember Tony Madrigal, celebrates the significance of the nopal in Mexican cuisine and showcases the plant's versatility and healing properties.
On Saturday, June 23rd, the Springfield Grange in Pájaro hosted the Festival of Tamales, a benefit for the Grange and Center for Farmworker Families. The menu featured delicious sweet and savory tamales, made with GMO-free masa from El Aguila Foods, including turkey and chile verde, sweet corn, and ollalieberry pecan praline. The tamales were made by local community members using recipes from El Salvador, Mexico, Texas, and the Monterey Bay Area.